GARLAND, Texas (AP) — A 6-year-old girl who won four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert with an essay falsely claiming her father died in Iraq isn't going to the show after all.
The contest's sponsor, a store chain named Club Libby Lu, withdrew the prize Saturday and awarded it to another contestant. It didn't identify the new winner.
"With this decision, we hope to revive the intended spirit of the contest, which was designed to make a little girl's holidays extra special," Club Libby Lu chief executive Mary Drolet said in a statement Saturday.
Officials of the Chicago-based chain surprised the girl on Friday at a Club Libby Lu store in mall in this Dallas suburb. Club Libby Lu sells clothes, accessories and games for young girls.
The girl won a makeover that included a blonde Hannah Montana wig, as well as the grand prize: airfare for four to Albany, N.Y., and four tickets to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert on Jan. 9.
The opening line in the essay was: "My daddy died this year in Iraq."
The girl's mother had told Club Libby Lu officials that the girl's father died April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq, company spokeswoman Robyn Caulfield said. But the mother, Priscilla Ceballos, admitted later Friday that the essay and the military information she provided about her daughter's father were untrue.
"We did the essay and that's what we did to win. We did whatever we could do to win," Ceballos said in an interview Friday with KDFW-TV of Dallas. "But when (Caulfield) asked me if this essay is true, I said `No, this essay is not true.'"
The Associated Press was unable to find a phone number for Ceballos on Saturday.